The debate about whether Twitter and blogging are taking over traditional news sources is all over the blogosphere. The implications of new media on the news industry have remained prevalent in discussion and caused a divide in opinion. However in the dichotomy that this debate has created, it seems that many people are overlooking the other features these platform offer to the news industry.
Microblogging may be increasing citizen journalism, but professional journalists use twitter equally effectively. Journalists are able to use Twitter and other networks to crowd source ideas and stories; they use it to gain an audience and a following and to promote their published works; they use it to network, to find and connect with sources.
The Twitter Debate is so busy arguing efficiency vs. reliability it overlooks a potential value in coexistence. Traditional media is known. It is dependable. If you need a reliable emergency news update you listen to the ABC the “emergency broadcaster”. People are still willing to pay for what they consider to be valuable content. Johnson states that the compilation of news sources accumulated by shared links in your social network feed “will lead to more news diversity and polarization at the same time”. People are still wary of the reliability of the information accessible through non-traditional sources. Rightly so, the cases of incorrect information being sourced from Twitter are numerous and widely known: mistakes, hoaxes, misinformation.
The media process is a ‘process’; now more than ever. It doesn’t allow for a completed story. It relies on updates, it provides more information, it allows a sharing of links and ideas, and facilitates informed conversation. The technology allows information, facts, updates, pictures to be shared widely. Professional and citizen journalists, and the audience benefit from the coexistence of the reliability and ethical standard of legacy media and the quick sharing and conversation of new media like Twitter. A survey by PEW Research Centre shows that “Facebook and Twitter are now pathways to news” rather than sources of news.
While Twitter allows a huge following of people to gain headline knowledge of a variety of news updates, its 140 characters don’t leave much space for an investigative exposé.